Recalling its glamorous Grands Routiers of pre-war days such as the Phantom II Continental, Rolls-Royce’s final coachbuilt models - entrusted to the company’s in-house coachbuilder Mulliner, Park Ward - were limited to just two, a two-door coupe or similar convertible
The former arriving in March 1966 and the latter in September the following year.
The cars were hand built in the best traditions of British coachbuilding using only materials of the finest quality, including Wilton carpeting, Connolly hide and burr walnut veneers
A necessarily lengthy process that took all of 20 weeks for the saloon and slightly longer for the more complex convertible. This painstaking attention to detail resulted in a price some 50% higher than the standard Silver Shadow’s.
Nevertheless, demand for these more glamorous alternatives to the much more numerous Silver Shadow was strong right from the start, a state of affairs that resulted in them being given their own model name - ‘Corniche’ - in 1971.
The name Corniche has been chosen for the latest coachbuilt models because it symbolises their higher cruising speeds and their ability to cover greater distances with the minimum of fatigue for driver and passengers, announced Rolls-Royce.
Rolls' familiar 6,750cc aluminium-alloy V8 engine produced around 10% more power than standard in Corniche specification, propelling the car to a top speed in excess of 120mph with sports car-beating acceleration to match.
Despite its sky-high asking price, the model proved a major success for Rolls-Royce; periodically revised and up-dated, it remained in production well into the 1990s, with the last Convertible examples being delivered in 1995.
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